CORE autosport has committed themselves to race in the LMP2 class in the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, despite looking into a possibility of a switch to the Daytona Prototype International class.
The #54 CORE autosport squad finished second in the 2018 championship with the driver line-up of Colin Braun and owner Jon Bennett, with the battle against the #31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac going down to the wire at Petit Le Mans only for them to come up four points shy.
The team will now return to the championship in 2019 with their Oreca 07 LMP2 chassis with a view of going one better than in 2018, although they will be fighting in the LMP2 class after the decision to split them away from the DPi’s as IMSA revert again to four classes.
“After achieving overall wins this season we looked at every opportunity to stay in IMSA’s top class,” said CORE COO Morgan Brady. “We were unable to find a path to a DPi program that would operate at the level we wanted.
“We will continue to look at options for a future DPi program, but we look forward to the strong competition in the new LMP2 class.”
Bennett was pleased with the debut campaign with the Oreca that saw them take victories at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Road America, while podiums also came at the Daytona International Speedway, Watkins Glen International and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
He is now excited to see how the competition will unfold in 2019 as CORE fight against the other LMP2 entries for class supremacy.
“In 2018, CORE autosport debuted in the top Prototype class with a new Gibson powered ORECA 07 LMP2,” said Bennett. “We were cautiously optimistic, recalling our successful history with the ORECA FLM09 in Prototype Challenge, but we started our season with an empty engineering notebook and some stout factory-supported DPi competition.
“By mid season, CORE autosport was competing toe-to-toe with our quickest competitors. After the midpoint of the season, podiums were common and we began winning as a team. Meticulous preparation and an ORECA racecar built for endurance propelled us to the top of the standings and within a whisker of winning the 2018 WeatherTech Championship.
“Turning the page to 2019, the CORE autosport squad will fixate our efforts on winning the new LMP2 Championship and scrap with some familiar rivals. It will be excellent racing.”